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Libraries Blog

The secret life of books

Pick 'em up, read 'em, put 'em down again. That's about it with books, isn't it?

Wrong, as it happens. Turns out the humble book is more multi-purpose than we ever imagined. Check out some of the unexpected uses for those unassuming tomes…

book safeThe book safe
It's an actual thing. You can even learn how to make your own on Pinterest.



The book buildingbook igloo
Or, to be precise, the book igloo. Just watch that roof.



book pillowBook as pillow
We understand the best pillow is a 500-plus page paperback, well-thumbed, but clean. The jury is still out on whether knowledge from the book will actually seep into your brain as you sleep.


Book as furniturebook bench
This literary wonder resides at the Library of Alexandria in Egypt.




book benchBook as pest control
Not recommended, especially if you were thinking of using a library book. The very idea.








book flowersBook as flower-press
Again, NOT with a library book. Please.



book xylothekBook as cata-log
Real name, xylothek. Books that are both made from wood, and feature wood specimens. Very popular in late 18th century Germany, apparently.



book nunchucksBooks as weapon of self-defencebook self defence
(Thanks to for this useful tip.) There are even instructional videos to show you how to wield that best-seller in a weaponly way.


Better still, carry this little gem in your handbag/manbag for every occasion. Hai-yah!




Do you have novel uses for books we haven't covered? Let us know, and we can publish them in The Secret Life of Books, Part Two.

Library Services at Alert Level 3

Now that we've taken our first tentative step out of the Level 4 lockdown, we thought it might be a good chance to update you on library services that will and won't be available during the long slog back to something resembling normality.


While our libraries will not be open to the public at this stage, our staff are still at work making sure the public have access to as many of our resources as possible. For those who have not yet checked our website, you will NOT be charged overdue fees for any items you have had checked out since the lockdown started. Our return slots are still closed, so hang on to them for now.

Our public Wi-Fi is now back! Please keep to physical distancing guidelines and at this stage it is only available 8am-8pm. Our many other internet-based delights are still very much up and running! The Online Resources page will direct you to a treasure trove of websites such as Ancestry, PressReader and Tumblebooks, where logging in with your library account details will provide you access to hours of genealogical joy, splendid stories, magnificent media publications and so on.  Check out our Bubble Busters and Build-A-Toddler Time for more delightful ways to keep yourself entertained and informed.

Also still available is our wide range of e-books and e-Audiobooks, which can be accessed on devices including tablets and smartphones, and can also be downloaded using your library account.

For those who might need a bit of guidance to access these resources, or those who might not remember the necessary login details, our librarians are happy to help. You can call us on 027 558 3133 (Matamata Library), 027 641 9102 (Morrinsville Library) or 027 614 8707 (Te Aroha Library), or just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we'll sort you out.

Finally, for those who want to join up and see what all the fuss is about with this "reading" malarkey, head to our website and join online! Be sure to select "Digital Membership" and once you've signed up, we'll send you a membership number that will open the door to a veritable feast of boredom relievers.

Any other questions, just drop us a line – we'd love to hear from you!

Stay safe, and happy reading.

The Matamata-Piako Libraries Team

Free Wifi available again

Free wifi is once again available outside the library buildings Monday to Sunday 8am - 8pm. Connect to: APNK Library, Password apnk2765. Please use for accessing essential information only and maintain physical distancing while you are using this service.  

Book Club cancelled

Greetings, o bookly souls – The powers that be have decreed that in the interests of keeping everyone safe from passing viruses, we shan't be having any more book groups or similar gatherings here in the library till further notice. This means, unfortunately that we shan't be holding our scheduled April 3rd meeting. Do remember that you can still visit the library at this stage to choose new books, and there is also the ever-popular e-book option! If you haven't tried this before, you'll need to download the Wheelers E-platform from your App store. Come and talk to us – or phone if you prefer! – and we can help you get this set up. Stay safe and happy – The team at Te Aroha Library